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Thu 8 Aug 2002 04:00 AM

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IBM tackles the entry-level Unix market

The latest chapter of IBM’s assault on Sun’s prime market space has reached the Middle East with the launch of its eServer p630, designed to bring mainframe technology to the small to medium sized business (SMB).

The latest chapter of IBM’s assault on Sun’s prime market space has reached the Middle East with the launch of its eServer p630, designed to bring mainframe technology to the small to medium sized business (SMB).The p630 has a range of high-end features such as eLiza self-healing technology and dynamic partitioning that the company hopes will encourage uptake by SMBs and server consolidation in the enterprise space.Using between one and four POWER4 processors, the p630 runs AIX5L, IBM’s flavour of Unix, and will run Linux natively by October, said Hossam Farouk, pSeries sales manager, Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan.“In developing the IBM eServer p630, we leveraged the exceptional capabilities of the award-winning IBM eServer p690 and p670, which have a strong history of beating the competition on price and performance,” said Farouk.“Equipped with POWER4 processors and extensive high availability features, the p630 has what it takes to provide customers with a competitive edge while costing less over the long term,” he added.The company believes that the dynamic partitioning ability will appeal to a wide range of customers including universities, SMBs and vertical sector companies. It allows different applications to be run simultaneously using different operating systems, even on one processor as the POWER4 can be divided in half because it is basically two processors on one piece of silicon.IBM is also looking to make sales in the enterprise space as the p630 is designed as a cluster server as well. The only limit to the number of boxes that can be clustered is the application, according to Farouk. The main plank of the go to market strategy is to target independent software vendors (ISV) in an effort to get them to port over their applications. IBM is offering the all resources at its disposal to drive the porting process, said Khaled Hassan, marketing and communications manager for IBM Middle East. The responsibility for that process and driving channel sales rests with its partners in the region, Saudi Business Machines (SBM) and Gulf Business Machines (GBM). The main incentives for ISVs are through the provision of favourable finance terms and discounts but Hassan stressed that the strategy was very much a complementary one, with strong IBM involvement when called for.In basic specification the p630 will cost around $18,000 and the company reports several sales in the region already, even though it is only offically launched today.

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